Patient Education

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Stimulate Your Baby's Learning


When you cuddle, talk to, and play with your baby, you build an emotional bond. You also help your baby learn. Here are some ways to encourage learning and cognitive development.

  • Show your baby new and interesting things.

    For example:

    • Show your baby things around your house, like pictures. Tell your baby what you're looking at.
    • Go outside for walks. Talk about things you see.
  • Read to your baby.

    This is important to encourage cognitive development.

  • Choose toys that match or challenge your baby's motor and cognitive skills.

    Between 3 and 6 months, babies seem to like toys that they can easily handle. Around 8 to 12 months, when they're able to pick up objects, babies may love to play with blocks. They might also enjoy more complex toys, in which an action triggers a response.

  • Remember that toys don't have to be new or fancy.

    Household objects, like a spoon or measuring cups, can serve as toys as long as they can't injure or be swallowed by the baby.

    Put some of your baby's toys away for a time and then reintroduce them. This will keep your baby interested in toys they've gotten used to.


Current as of: August 3, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

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